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Connecting, sharing knowledge, and applying innovations to improve services


The International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) and the International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL) are international learning collaboratives for mental health, addiction and disability leaders.

IIMHL and IIDL help leaders connect, share knowledge, and apply innovations to improve services. IIMHL and IIDL are government-funded initiatives.

For IIMHL please contact Janet Peters, the IIMHL liaison for New Zealand.

New Zealand's involvement in IIMHL

Nine countries participate in IIMHL: New Zealand, USA, England, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Sweden, The Netherlands and Australia.

New Zealand is a founding member of IIMHL. Te Pou funds a staff member to work on planning, liaison and evaluation for IIMHL.

IIMHL and IIDL Leadership Exchange

The 2019 Leadership Exchange was held September 9-13. Matches were held across the US and Canada, with the Network Meeting held in Washington D.C. The theme of the exchange was “Leading the way forward: Access, Accountability & Action”.

See the Network meeting agenda and match topics.

New Zealand was allocated 30 places at the Exchange. A key issue was to ensure members of the New Zealand delegation were equipped and ideally placed to implement recommendations from He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.

Learning from the IIMHL New Zealand leaders who attended the 2019 Exchange are available below in the Stories section.

Summaries of the IIMHL 2019 matches are available on the IIMHL website.

Future Leadership Exchanges

After very careful consideration, it's been decided that the next Leadership Exchange that was to be held in New Zealand and Australia during the week of March 1, 2021 will be postponed to the week of February 28, 2022. Our major concern has been to ensure the safety and health of our staff and members as well as the challenges relating to international travel resulting from COVID-19. From the information available to us at present it appears that travel restrictions might still cause an issue for next March. While we have been following the potential travel issues, we have also focused attention on the new Christchurch convention centre build, the venue for the Network Meeting. Before COVID-19 arrived in New Zealand, the construction schedule was on track for completion in November 2020, well in time for our March 2021 event. During the lockdown, construction stopped and has only just resumed, with a firm date to be open in May 2021. In light of this, we have made the difficult decision to postpone and have now locked in the week of February 28 to March 4, 2022 for the Christchurch Leadership Exchange.

Please see our FAQs for the 2022 Leadership Exchange by clicking here.

There were two regional Leadership Exchanges scheduled for 2020; one in Australasia and one in Scotland. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, both have been cancelled.

IIMHL and IIDL save the date

How to join

There is no cost to join IIMHL or IIDL.

You can join if you are employed in a leadership role and you are endorsed by your employer or sponsoring organisation, or if you are acknowledged by the sector as having leadership responsibilities. Leadership roles can range from CEO through to Māori leaders, Pacific leaders, clinicians or consumers or family members who work in advocacy roles with leadership responsibilities in services

Key Contact






Te Pou has a wide range of evidence-based resources and tools to help the mental health, addiction and disability workforces.

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Our work

Te Pou works alongside mental health and addiction services, and disability organisations to understand their priorities and workforce challenges.

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